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Jo Spence in a hospice bed with visitors.

  • Spence, Jo
Part of
Final project.
  • Pictures

About this work

Also known as

The final project : self-portrait.


Jo Spence lying in a hospice bed at the Marie Curie Hospice, Hampstead, holding a camera trigger with her right hand. She is accompanied by two visitors, one of whom is holding her left hand.



Physical description

1 photograph : black and white print ; sheet: 19.5 x 29 cm

Biographical note

Jo Spence (1934 - 1992) started as a commercial photographer, and in the 1970s she moved to critical documentary photography. In 1974 she met her long-term collaborator, Terry Dennett, with whom she established the Photography Workshop Ltd. Her work was both politically aware and personal, considering social issues, sexuality, power and health. She worked collaboratively throughout her career, in the 1970s and early 80s with the Hackney Flashers and Polysnappers, and in 1984, she developed Photo-therapy with Rosy Martin. Diagnosed with cancer in 1982 much of her subsequent work reflected her experiences, including the A picture of Health? series (1982-86). In 1990 she was diagnosed with leukemia, and The Final Project work was a response to this. She wrote extensively, and in 1984 published Putting myself in the picture.


The work is untitled, the title has been supplied by the cataloguer. Paperwork accompanying the purchase of the work refers to it as 'The final project: self portrait'.
Created as part of 'The final project'. The publication Cultural sniping (1995) suggests photographs from this session were taken by Terry Dennett.


Jo Spence. 1992. Jo Spence in a hospice bed with visitors. [Photograph]. Wellcome Collection: Library no. 3076003i.

Ownership note

Purchased by Wellcome Collection in 2016 from the Estate of Jo Spence through Richard Saltoun Gallery, London. Richard Saltoun stock code: JOS1296.


  • English

Where to find it

  • LocationStatusAccess
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